Exquisite Practices, Lush Life: Week 2

2 recipes for your herb garden harvest!

This week I’d like to share two delightful herb-centric recipes. Visit last week’s Lush Life post ‘Herb Garden Essentials’ to learn about growing herbs for these recipes. From a health perspective, herbs are often overlooked for more colorful fruits and vegetables, but these little beauties pack quite a health punch. Parsley, for instance, has a ton of vitamins, anti-inflammatory properties, and its regular use can help control blood pressure. Needless to say, I pile the parsley onto all of my daily salads! Below are two fantastic ways to use herbs fresh from the garden. Next week I’ll demonstrate how to dry your herbs and will share more ways to use your herb harvest.

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Violet Kir

Tasting Notes: light floral, herbaceous & effervescent

This first recipe is from the the lovely artist and mixologist Willa Van Nostrand over at Little Bitte in Providence, RI. Little Bittè (pronounced “bit-tah,” German for ‘welcome’) is an artisanal cocktail catering company encompassing the intersection of culinary and beverage arts, theatre and sensory palate expansion. Willa specializes in signature cocktail design featuring small batch spirits, wild and foraged ingredients and house bitters. Follow @littlebittecocktails for more recipes and delectable ponderings.

Ingredients

¼ oz Creme de Violette liqueur (we like Giffard Crème de Violette)

¼ oz Creme de Cassis (we like Giffard Cassis Noir de Bourgogne)

Fresh lemon balm for garnish

Sparkling wine

Preparation

Pour liqueurs into a champagne flute or coupe. Very slowly top with chilled sparkling wine and garnish with lemon balm.

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Lemon balm is a powerful antioxidant, calms the mind and promotes restful sleep, promotes normal blood sugar and helps protect the liver brain cells. Enjoy that garnish!

Fennel, Mint, and Feta Salad

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I love this salad in the late spring when fennel is most flavorful. The mint and fennel play off each other beautifully and the tangy goat feta is the perfect balance to the lemony dressing.

Ingredients

1 fennel bulb

1 bunch mint leaves, torn

½ tsp coarse sea salt

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp lemon juice

4 oz fresh goat feta

4 oz cherry tomatoes, halved

Black pepper to taste

Preparation

Remove the bottom and stalks from fennel bulb. Shave the fennel into thin slices and add to a bowl with the mint and cherry tomatoes. Sprinkle with salt and toss, then dress with the olive oil and lemon juice and toss again. Let the mixture marinate for about 10 minutes before plating, crumbling the feta over top, and seasoning with ground black pepper.

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Aside from its wonderful flavor, mint promotes healthy digestion, calms inflammation and indigestion including headaches related to indigestion, is excellent for asthma, and used topically can calm and refresh the skin. I use mint in almost of all of my salads, even a simple green salad. Enjoy!

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+Be sure to check out the others in our Exquisite Practice series!

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